Watcher (2022)
June 3, 2022 5:34 AM - Subscribe

As a serial killer stalks the city, Julia (Maika Monroe) a young actress who just moved to București with her husband, notices a mysterious stranger (Burn Gorman) watching her from across the street.

From director Chloe Okuno (who made the award-winning short film Slut; as well as the famous "Hail Raatma!" segment of V/H/S/94). Currently sitting at 85% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. Now playing in theaters.
posted by DirtyOldTown (8 comments total)
Okuno's stunning short "Slut" came out more than four years ago. It just goes to show you that even if everyone agrees you're terrific and talented, getting your first feature off the ground is no easy feat.

She did not write the original script for this one, but was brought on as a director-for-hire. The mechanics of the original story are solid but not earth-shattering. It's a Rear Window riff.

You can see Okuno's talent from what she is able to do with this. Shifting the story to Bucharest (it was originally set in NYC) added another dimension to the gaslighting. People talk about our protagonist in Romanian right in front of her, like she isn't there. She's just an American and a woman. She doesn't know anything. She can't even speak the language. She doesn't even understand where she is. Etc. Etc.

But the best thing Okuno does is to be really bold and anxiety-inducing in how much she stretches the buildup. It's like watching a rubber band pulled an impossible length apart.

Monroe, one of our reigning scream queens, is terrific as ever.

This is absolutely worth seeing.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:39 AM on June 3, 2022 [2 favorites]

Thanks for this-I was curious about it as it's playing at my favorite local theater and the trailer looks promising. I might hit this later today or over the weekend since it's supposed to be rainy here. Any idea where to find the short?
posted by miss-lapin at 7:50 AM on June 3, 2022

Okuno's short Slut? I linked it above on YT. Here it is
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:51 AM on June 3, 2022 [1 favorite]

Ah thanks. My brain isn't braining very well due to allergies.
posted by miss-lapin at 7:57 AM on June 3, 2022

Just saw this with my daughter, and I think it's incredibly underwhelming if you want it to be a suspense/thriller movie, because everything is so utterly predictable. Our old pal, Checkov's gun, even shows up to announce "this is how she will kill the bad guy." On that level, it's very paint-by-numbers. If, on the other hand, you are thinking of it as a relationship story, or a story about the way that women's experiences are dismissed, which happens to be choose the world's most conventional thriller as its setting, then it's somewhat more satisfying. Still, for me it was a B- at best. even if I didn't feel that I had wasted my time.

I think a lot of this ground has been covered better in the 2020 Invisible Man, though, and that's part of why this movie didn't really land for me. It's fine, but I don't think I'll ever want to re-watch it.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 5:48 AM on June 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

I believe this movie will be on shudder starting June 21
posted by miss-lapin at 1:45 PM on June 8, 2022

So I finally watched this. Not sure why it took so long to make it to Shudder.

I really enjoyed it and definitely illustrates how a director can really transform a film. As a woman who has traveled alone quite a bit, this film really landed hard.
posted by miss-lapin at 12:25 PM on September 4, 2022 [1 favorite]

I think Shudder has been hording some of their festival purchases for fall, so that they can time a winning streak of popular material leading up to Halloween.

Deadstream comes out really soon after a long wait and I'm very stoked for that.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:41 PM on September 4, 2022 [1 favorite]

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